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The training at Bugando Medical Centre was a successful week of surgery and learning. With surgeon educator, Dr. Silvio Podda, and local surgeons coming together to perform 14 surgeries. The procedures varied in complexity and accomplished our ongoing goal of meeting the needs of complex cases as well as addressing cases that occur often and have a high educational value add. This trip marked Dr. Silvio’s 20th surgical mission!

Fourteen patients from two months old to 38 years of age were given vital surgical care, including but not limited to skin grafts, debridement of wounds, contracture releases, and scar excision procedures. Together, three complex cleft lip and/or palate repairs as well as two complex flap procedures were performed over the course of the week. In the weeks following the trip, Mission: Restore will lead a telemedicine consultation with Bugando Medical Centre and surgeon educator, Dr. Silvio Podda. This call allows for the Mission: Restore mentorship network to stay active and growing, as well as allows surgeons to work together in determining next steps needed for complex cases, while even across borders.

Overall, four skilled local surgeons participated in the March training trip. While the focus was concentrated on two surgeons from the General Surgery Department and the Burn Unit, this training spanned three surgical specialties. Cases from the Orthopedic surgical ward as well as the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgical ward were performed, and two enthusiastic surgeons from those two departments received vital training as well. Local surgeon participants included Dr. Philip (Resident Surgeon, Burn Unit Manager); Dr. Vihar (Specialist Surgeon); Dr. Inyas (Orthopedic Specialist Surgeon); and Dr. Olivia (ENT Specialist Surgeon).

The training trip also marked the introduction of two new Mission: Restore partnerships and programs. A workshop with Tanzania Rural Health Movement kick-started our training week, and focused on wound care management and accessible post-operative healthcare. Additionally, Mission: Restore partnered with Watsi, an organization dedicated to funding the surgical procedures of patients in financial need, to cover nine patients’ surgical procedures and post-operative care. Mission: Restore looks forward to operating together with these organizations that share goals in providing accessible surgical healthcare options to their communities. By working together we’ll be able to make safe surgical care more accessible to the patients who need it most.

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